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Ned Kelly

3.31 of 5 stars 3.31  ·  rating details  ·  222 ratings  ·  15 reviews
The first novel written about the bushcountry gunslinger who was both the national hero and devil incarnate of Australia, Ned Kelly imagines the inner life of a figure described by historian Manning Clark as "a wild ass of a man, snarling, roaring and frothing like a ferocious beast when the tamer entered the cage." Written with brilliant clarity and impressionistic econom ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published February 3rd 2004 by Penguin (first published January 1st 1991)
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70th out of 319 books — 380 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 427)
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Glen O'Brien
The original title of this book is "Our Sunshine." Changing it to "Ned Kelly" is an unfortunate marketing device to tie in with the film that was based on the novel.
Linda Funnell
Robert Drewe’s Ned Kelly gets under the skin.

Nine years before Peter Carey published his Booker-winner The True History of the Kelly Gang, he gave a cover endorsement to Robert Drewe’s Our Sunshine, claiming it would ‘forever change the way we see Ned Kelly’. With hindsight, Carey could also have been writing the creative brief for his own, later, achievement.

But back in 1991, the most remarkable thing about the Ned Kelly story was that our best-known folk hero had not received more attention fr
...more
J.M.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrew
this review first appeared on [http://intraspace.blogspot.com]

this, apparently, is the book that the film 'ned kelly' was based on. as is often the case though, i didn't notice too many similarities other than the fact that both were about ned kelly.

i picked this up as a quick read - a book that anna got at an op shop i think. it turned out to be quite good. the narrative style is almost a stream-of-consciousness approach - it has a poetic quality to it.

i think there is a connection here between
...more
Mark Wilson
Robert Drewe's "Our Sunshine" (original title) is the novel that was later adapted into the film "Ned Kelly" starring Heath Ledger. Drewe's writing is exquisite and although I found the book a little disjointed, I really enjoyed his beautiful language. The book suffered a little from not flowing smoothly, which was a little jarring at first, but the surreal imagery Drewe creates makes up for this.
Phillip
I began this book expecting a kind of rollicking adventure story, a Western set in Australia with Irish accents, which is pretty much what the movie is. However, this is a very different type of story than what we get in the film version. First off, this novel is not linear. I think the narrative style is mean to reflect Ned Kelly's thoughts, memories, and anxieties on the night of the battle at Glenrowan, where Kelly was captured by police. Through the irregular and incomplete memories you get ...more
Ty
Although it is based on the true story, the author admits that he has let the legends spum from it shape this story as much as the historical facts. The stream of consciousness sometimes confusioned me as it went back and forth between 3rd and 1st person. Quick chapters made for a quick reading paste.

The Australian author is clearly writting for an Australian audience (with some taken for granted knowledge) so a few things were left out that confused me. I have been to the jail were Ned was hung
...more
Newtown Review of Books
Nine years before Peter Carey published his Booker-winner The True History of the Kelly Gang, he gave a cover endorsement to Robert Drewe’s Our Sunshine, claiming it would ‘forever change the way we see Ned Kelly’. With hindsight, Carey could also have been writing the creative brief for his own, later, achievement. Read more:: http://newtownreviewofbooks.com/2012/...
Debbie
This would have been a much harder book to get through if I didn't already know the story of Ned Kelly, the Australian bushranger that could be compared to the United States' Jesse James. It was very poignently written but several times, I was very tempted to just put the book down. The only reason I didn't was because I was reading the book as research for my senior thesis.
Anthony
Interesting style.
I think I enjoyed the purpose and concept of the novel more than the novel itself.
It was written well, it was just hard to follow since it was very fragmented.
Overall, Drewe indeed wrote an interesting novel.
Justin
Here's the weirdness of colonial Australia in full voice. Conjures up parrots and eucalypts, Tucker and Nolan, Irish police, Irish horse thieves - treats Ned well without glory.
Valerie F
Dec 18, 2007 Valerie F rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ???
Shelves: fiction
In my quest to understand more about Australia, I picked this up at a Sydney BC meetup. Honestly, I barely remember how bad I thought it was. Not for me...
Michelle Prak
One of those books that made me cry when I finished it. But, I preferred it when it was called the original title, Our Sunshine!
Miriam
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sharon
Totally Uninteresting
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Robert Drewe is among Australia’s most loved writers – of novels, memoir and short stories. His iconic Australian books include The Shark Net, The Bodysurfers and Our Sunshine. He is also editor of Black Inc.’s Best Australian Stories annual series. Recently, he has revisited the short story himself, with a masterful new collection, The Rip. Jo Case spoke to him for Readings about storytelling.
More about Robert Drewe...
The Shark Net The Bodysurfers The Rip The Drowner 10 Short Stories You Must Read This Year

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